Las Vegas officials held another press conference Monday afternoon in which they revealed the latest details on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The death toll is now at 59 dead, not including the shooter, but authorities want to press the fact that number could go up.
There were also 527 injured, both from non-fatal gunshot wounds and from the escape itself as roughly 22,000 attendees of the Route 91 Harvest Festival tried to scramble away from the area.
As country star Jason Aldean was playing, a 64-year-old Caucasian man named Stephen Paddock smashed out two windows of his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which overlooked the concert grounds and opened fire.
Over the course of about 15 minutes, Paddock spent thousands of rounds with automatic rifles until police were able to locate him — at which point he committed suicide before police entered his room.
Police found at least 10 weapons inside the suite (some sources have said as many as 16). He had been staying at the hotel since Thursday, but staff said they saw nothing unusual about him or the room.
Later, they found an additional 18 firearms in his home, as well as explosives, several thousand rounds of ammunition, and some “electronic devices” which are being evaluated by authorities.
Authorities also reported finding ammonium nitrate, a key ingredient in explosive devices, in his car.
As near as anyone can tell so far, Paddock had no ties to any terrorist organization. As his brother put it in an interview:
“He was just a guy. He lives in Mesquite, he went to the hotels, he gambled, he went to shows.”
The shooter’s live-in girlfriend was temporarily a person of interest, but no longer. She is currently out of the country in the Philippines.
The only unusual mark on Paddock’s record so far is that his estranged father was once on the FBI‘s Most Wanted list.
The Las Vegas community is a strong one and has really stepped up to help out.
With so many injured in the hospital, the victims are still in need of blood — though Nevada residents have been turning up in droves to donate, so much that there is a 6-8 hour wait with appointments being set up throughout the week.
Another way in which the community has come together to help the victims? Several hotels and casinos — including Boyd Gaming (California, Fremont, Main Street Station), Station Casinos (The Palms, Red Rock, Palace Station), the South Point, and Siegel Suites — have all offered up free rooms and accommodations for family members of victims traveling to Vegas.
The fire department and law enforcement have set up a Family Assistance center for these families in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
They say they’ve had so many donations already they don’t have room for any more.
A victims’ fund was set up on GoFundMe by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak, and it’s already raised over $1.7 million.
If you aren’t in the area but want to help, you can donate HERE.
[Image via @alexzzzle/Twitter.]